Shoppers show a preference for marketplaces. And the more often someone shops, the more they tend to favor the marketplace model.

Shoppers around the world like ecommerce marketplaces. A lot. Two-thirds of them prefer ecommerce sites that have a multi-merchant marketplace over those that do not, according to a survey from Mirakl, a marketplace technology provider.

The 9,000 shoppers from nine countries surveyed cited better prices (62%), better product selection (53%) and better delivery options (43%) and shopping experiences (43%) as the leading reasons for their preference for ecommerce sites that sell goods from many retailers or consumer goods brands.

In addition, the most frequent online shoppers have an even stronger preference for marketplaces than do other shoppers. Nearly three-quarters of the consumers Mirakl calls “power shoppers”—those who purchase something online at least once a week—wish more of their favorite retailers would offer marketplaces.


Mirakl, which provides services to both retailers and B2B companies, hired independent researcher the Schlesinger Group to survey 9,000 shoppers (1,000  in each of the following nine countries: Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, Singapore, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States) in October 2021.

According to the survey, U.S. shoppers shared the pro-marketplace sentiments of their global counterparts.

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  •  83% of U.S. power shoppers said online marketplaces are the most convenient way to shop; they cite better delivery options (58%), better selection (57%) and better prices (56%) as top benefits. And, three-quarters (75%) wish more of their favorite retailers had online marketplaces.
  • On average, U.S. power shoppers conduct 50% of their online shopping through marketplaces vs. the average U.S. consumer (43%) and the average global consumer (42%), indicating that as consumers shop more, marketplaces take a bigger share of their spending.

Other key findings from the U.S. include:

  • When shopping online, 65% of U.S. consumers say they often buy from an online marketplace. Millennials are most active, buying from marketplaces 79% of the time.
  • A total of 62% of U.S. respondents who shop online say they often buy from third-party sellers, that is, the outside merchants that sell on a marketplace operated by another company.
  • Compared to last year, 39% of U.S. consumers say they bought from third-party sellers more often. An additional 49% say they purchased items from them about the same.
  • 57% of respondents say they always check or check most of the time to see if the product being purchased is sold directly by the merchant or a third-party seller.

When U.S. consumers consider the convenience of an online shopping outlet, their most important criteria are: in-stock items (No. 1), product variety (No. 2) and fast delivery (No. 3). 81% of U.S. consumers say they changed their mind about a purchase based on how long it will take to ship.

The full survey report, called The 2022 State of Online Marketplace Adoption, is available for download.

Retailers have multiple marketplaces to choose from

The Mirakl survey will come as welcome news to retailers who have committed to the marketplace model. And the number of such retailers is growing. Some 24% of 100 retailers surveyed by Digital Commerce 360 between July and September of this year say they will increase the number of marketplaces on which they sell goods.

Those retailers will have a wide variety of marketplaces from which to choose as several retailers have announced plans to open up their ecommerce sites to sell goods from outside retailers.

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In November, Macy’s Inc., No. 13 in 2021 Digital Commerce 360 Top 1000, announced it would launch a third-party marketplace. That announcement followed a slew of similar news from both established retailers and start-ups. Lands’ End (No. 68 ) and Hudson’s Bay Co. (No. 30) both launched marketplaces this year. Back in March, Verizon Media, owner of Yahoo, said it would build an online marketplace called Yahoo Shops. In October, crafts and hobby retailer The Michaels Companies, (No. 106), said it would soon launch a marketplace for craft-supply sellers. And in November, Jedora, a marketplace for jewelry, launched.

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